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It’s go time at the Expeditionary Legal Complex. Judge Pohl ascends the bench and calls our proceedings to order; all five accused are present, along with their attorneys. There’s a new addition to Ramzi bin Al Shibh’s defense team, too: Maj. Mark Balfantz. He puts his credentials on record.
The court proceeds to advise the accused of their rights to attend and to be absent. Wait: can everybody hear simultaneous translation? It’s not clear if Ammar al-Baluchi can, so we recess briefly, for technical reasons.
Dials turned and levels established, we reconvene, the audio now flowing---so we gather--- throughout the courtroom to all accused.
Back to voluntariness: do the five accused understand their rights to attend, and equally, their ability to waive that right on a knowing and voluntary basis? The court wants a verbal response, and gets one from KSM: yes. Walid bin Attash understands too, as do Ramzi bin Al Shibh, Ammar al-Baluchi and Mustafa al-Hawsawi.
A few more housekeeping matters follow this. Prosecutor Edward Ryan announces the presence of law enforcement and fire department personnel in the courtroom; the former may testify as witnesses, the latter are present pursuant to the court’s victim-witness assistance program. Then there’s Ramzi bin Al Shibh’s attorney, LCDR Kevin Bogucki: he wants his client’s emergency motion, AE152, to be heard, despite its absence from the docketing order. The Unsurprisingly Abaye-d Cheryl Bormann likewise wants to add some undocketed stuff, and to move AE18 and AE32 (regarding confidential communications) to the top of our agenda today. She’s also having IT issues; her laptop isn’t connecting to the network. Thus she’ll follow today’s proceedings by referring to hard copies of pleadings and exhibits. (The court and prosecution offer to loan her binders, for the time being.)